You are currently browsing the monthly archive for December 2009.

The first snowfall of winter is melting away at the Festival office...

By Karen Hendricks, Festival PR/Marketing Director

Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, and Happy New Year from the Gettysburg Festival!  The holiday season truly is “the most wonderful time of the year,” but the festival season is also upon us with less than six action-packed months until the 2010 Festival.  And for that reason, it’s also “the most wonderful time of the year” as the Gettysburg Festival office is transformed into an exciting whirlwind of activity.  I’ll even drop a few hints about 2010 highlight events in a moment…

The Festival's new Director of Development, Mary Lynn Billitteri, with husband Tom, enjoyed meeting Friends and volunteers, in between putting together exciting, new Festival sponsorships.

A Festival Open House set the holiday tone in early December, as we welcomed all volunteers and 2009 Friends of the Festival.  These warm and extremely supportive friends form the backbone of the June Festival, lending a helping hand with everything from office support, to transportation, monetary contributions, and serving as the friendly faces that welcome attendees to Festival events in June.  It’s so appropriate to recognize these key contributors during this season of giving.

Cheers! Brass Volunteer Ann Mease-Shiner toasts a successful 2009 Festival.

Speaking of giving, the Festival presented a holiday gift to the Borough of Gettysburg at the December Borough Council meeting.  Blue Lincoln, a massive painting by the 09 Festival artist Hunt Slonem, will now be on display to the public at Borough Hall.   Mayor William Troxell said of this $24,000 gift, “I think this magnificent painting is representative of not only the enduring legacy of President Lincoln, but also of the significance of the arts in Gettysburg.  We are truly blessed to have The Gettysburg Festival taking place in our borough every June.  We have always welcomed visitors attracted by Gettysburg’s history; now we are seeing more and more visitors coming for the Gettysburg Festival’s arts and culture as well.”

Bernie Yannetti, the Festival's Chairman of the Board of Trustees, presents "Blue Lincoln" to Mayor Troxell and members of Borough Council. The painting is almost as tall as the Mayor!

So as we wrap up 2009 and look forward to 2010, Festival plans are sizzling and percolating, (appropriate choice of words since many of our most popular events are of the culinary variety).  Here are a few tidbits to whet your appetite: 

  • Walter Scheib, returning as Artistic Director of Culinary Events in 2010, is designing an amazing, mouth-watering culinary lineup… including a repeat of the fun brunch event that sold out in 2009, plus a newly-designed formal dinner on a stage, a Caribbean-style cookout, and much more.  Stay tuned for more details!
  • Ben Jones is putting the finishing touches on the 2010 lineup, which will again offer about 20 concerts entirely free of charge to the public.  After showcasing such critically-acclaimed brass performers as Gramercy Brass Orchestra in 2008 and the River City Brass in 2009, we are looking north to a city known for its beans… to find our highlight brass performers for 2010. 
  • One of Gettysburg’s most popular arts and cultural events for the past dozen years, the annual History Meets the Arts Festival will be part of the Gettysburg Festival in 2010.  This will put Gettysburg’s unique downtown galleries in the spotlight.   In case you missed the official announcement a few weeks ago, click here for more details:   http://www.gettysburgfestival.org/media/news_detail.asp?news_id=59
  • We are also proud to announce that WITF is once again partnering with the Festival as media sponsor.  This dynamic PBS and NPR affiliate is especially proud to promote a Festival-opening event set for June 18.  Let’s just say it’s going to be a wonderful event at the TOP of our lineup.
  • Buzz Jones is designing a fun and creative jazz lineup for 2010.  Events that cross-promote various genres of the arts have
    Buzz Jones, June 2009

    found the most success, and this year’s jazz lineup integrates that principal.  One of the jazz acts will be showcased within Walter’s afore-mentioned Caribbean-style cookout—fun!  Another jazz act will feature the music of “the chairman of the board” known for his hat and “old blue eyes.”  (more cheesy clues)

  • Speaking of hats, the Festival has found an enthusiastic partner “across the pond” in the DERBYshire region of the UK.  This partnership will bring an entirely new dimension to the Festival, while relying on a series of works from the 1800’s.  More details to come…

Well that’s enough for now.  We don’t want to let too many cats out of the bag.  There will be plenty of time for that in 2010—stay connected to the Festival via the website, e-newsletter, Facebook and Twitter as the plans for 2010 are revealed.  Here’s to a happy, healthy and artistic 2010!

Helpful Links:

Last chance to become a 2010 “Friend of the Festival” while enjoying the tax credit for 2009:  http://www.gettysburgfestival.org/support/index.asp

Become a Fan of the Festival on Facebook:  http://www.facebook.com/TheGettysburgFestival

Written By: Michael Laughlin,  Gettysburg Festival Intern, Gettysburg College Class of 2010

I’m not sure that I have ever attended a festival of any type, let alone a fine arts festival. At least I can’t remember ever being at one. I say let alone a fine arts festival not because there is something wrong with the fine arts but because they were never really on my radar screen. Growing up I was always more interested in John Madden than Jean Valjean, Bruce Springsteen than Miles Davis and New York pizza than flambé. I was a product of the times perhaps.

So how does a Gettysburg College frat guy with no festival experience end up working for the fine arts Gettysburg Festival? Taking things a step further how could I possibly make a positive contribution? I guess the answer has more to do with serendipity, frat guys know big words too, than anything else. Checking emails one day I came across one about a marketing/pr internship with the Festival. Considering my mom had recently laid the guilt trip that I do nothing but hang out, waste my free time, and destroy my mind with video games/action movies, I decided to check it out. At least if I was involved with the Festival I could watch Die Hard in peace right? So after a phone call and a visit I began working at the Festival as an intern.

First day impressions –> I’m the only guy in the office but everyone is really nice and the work seems ok, I can handle this. Since the first day my impressions and experiences have changed dramatically. Now everyone yells at me and the chain they put on my ankle is really tight. Ok a poor attempt at humor but in all seriousness my experience has changed. I have had the opportunity to see the arts from a new perspective. I’ve been able to hear some jazz and see Lincoln artwork. Besides the exposure to new art I’ve been able to take a fresh look at what I’m already familiar with. For example instead of just focusing on Bruce I’ve started listening to Clarence Clemons. Clemons is the sax player in Bruce’s E-Street Band but has a solo rock/jazz/funk style of his own. Perhaps Miles Davis is the next step.

I’d like to think my internship has been mutually beneficial. In addition to other responsibilities I’ve played a large role in trying to bring a younger demographic to the Festival. I’ve had the opportunity to sit in on meetings and give input of my own. Input on what someone my age is probably interested in, how much they will spend on a specific event and what’s going to make them stop playing video games and come to the Festival. I’ve been focusing on event ideas that could bridge the gap between younger and older generations with something that appeals to both. Not an easy task. I think my input has been valuable for the staff in understanding what will and won’t bring the younger audience in. I’d like to expose some of the older attendees to some aspect of my generation and my experiences. The same way that my horizons have been broadened through the fine arts I feel others could have their horizons broadened by younger art. Even if they don’t consider it “art” right now. In the same process the younger attendees would be exposed, as I have been, to jazz, brass, theatre, culinary, and visual arts.

I think that is what the Gettysburg Festival is best at: exposing people to something new, blending old and new experiences for people of all demographics, and leaving them with a changed perspective. I’m happy that I’ve had the opportunity to both experience this firsthand and make a positive contribution in bringing it to others.